The Instagram algorithm changes regularly, so it is crucial to keep up to date with the changes and try new methods to keep up engagement on your company’s account. In this article, we will walk you through some simple ways to increase engagement, expanding your company’s reach on social media!
1. Timing is crucial
When you post is very important, even though Instagram orders posts by engagement rather than time. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to tell when the best time for your company is but you can get a good idea from your analytics where you could spot a pattern of high engagement at certain times of the day. It is also worth considering your target audience; students are likely to be online at different times to people who work a traditional 9-5 job.
The timing question is one reason to get a business Instagram account. There are several apps to help measure analytics, including this free one (https://www.hopperhq.com/best-time-to-post-on-instagram/)which tells you the best time for your business to post.
In addition to the age of your audience, bear in mind their location, especially if it is in a different time zone. Your optimum time could be 2am but don’t worry; you don’t need to stay up! You can schedule your posts in advance using tools like Hootsuite.
2. Animal Content
It is no secret that animal content does well on social media across the board, and Instagram is no different. Humans love animals, especially cute or small ones! Some brands have even seen a 295% increase in comments on their posts which feature pets.
You can incorporate pets into product posts or even start your own hashtag, like #DogsofWeWork, started by co-working space WeWork.
Competitions are a common way for businesses to spread awareness of their brand. People could have to like, comment or even share the company’s post to enter the contest, introducing new users to your content as well as boosting the post in the algorithm.
Giveaways are by far the most common forms that Instagram competitions take. It is also relatively easy and cost-effective as a company to give a subscription or product as a prize. Photo contests with unique hashtags can also be a good way for creative businesses to adopt this method to work for them.
Be clear about all the terms and conditions relating to the contest when advertising it, including:
– How to enter
– Prize details
– When the winner will be announced
Ask questions in your captions so that your audience has something to respond to, instead of just including statements in captions. Asking your followers about the business or about their general life and opinions not only boosts engagement but also gives you greater insight into their lives and views.
Followers who engage then feel more involved with the business, especially if you then reply to their comments! This is key; don’t let the conversations be one-sided and respond relatively quickly to foster the community spirit.
5. Sliding into DMs
Following on from that method, let’s talk about direct messages, which can be a tricky form of engagement. DMs are more personal and an opportunity to have a conversation with your followers that is not out for the public to see.
As DMs are not out in the public domain, it can seem like brands have nothing to gain from engaging, but it is vital to reply to all of your DMs. It is such an excellent way to create or spread a community, making each member feel valued.
Followers who have positive experiences messaging you are more likely to engage with your public posts and spread the word about your business. Ask questions to continue the conversation and keep the tone appropriate at all times.
Don’t forget that you can start a conversation too, especially if someone has featured a product and tagged you in their Instagram post or story. Don’t just send a react but continue the conversation by asking questions linked to their stories or posts.
6. Story Stickers
It feels like Instagram comes out with new stickers every update, but we aren’t complaining! They give more and more ways for users to engage with each other and businesses can make the most of that.
Story stickers don’t directly add to the number of likes and comments on your posts, but they do increase the overall engagement related to your account, which is tracked by the Instagram algorithm. As the algorithm becomes aware of the higher engagement, your posts will be higher up in people’s feeds.
Stickers also make your brand’s stories more creative and fun, tailoring them for your audience on this particular platform.
Poll Stickers: These act like surveys, giving your followers a choice between two things. Asking your followers’ opinions makes them feel included in the process. For example, you could ask them which colour of a dress they prefer.
Poll stickers also increase engagement because users can only see the result of them once they have clicked an answer.
Question stickers: These are mainly used by influencers to interact with their audience for easy Q&A sessions, but brands are catching on now as well! It’s a great way to increase engagement and do customer service if you have a new launch, for example, about which your customers might have many questions.
You can also use it as a survey, asking about their favourite dish on the menu at your restaurant or yoga position if you are a yoga studio. It is a versatile sticker that you can adapt to suit your business.
Quiz stickers: These stickers tend to be used less than the other two types, but they can be great if you want to inform your followers about any topic, like climate change or sustainability.
They are great if you have facts or stories, which subvert the expectations of users. You can follow the quiz up with those stories to make the most of the piqued interest.
7. Posting on holidays
There are a large variety of holidays celebrated across social media, from holidays which have existed for centuries like St Patrick’s Day to World Gin Day!
These holidays are an excellent opportunity to reach users who might not be aware of your brand but will be browsing the hashtag and show your existing followers that you support that idea or values, for example, if it is Earth Day or Pride Month related, or are generally fun and up to date with social media.
8. Collaborate with other accounts
Working with influencers or other brands is a great way to raise awareness and help increase both of your audiences. These partnerships can occur in many different ways, like takeovers, contests, campaigns or sponsorships. Contests are especially great because they combine two of the best methods to increase engagement!
You don’t need to pay much money to increase your engagement on Instagram, paying attention to your audience and analytics can make a significant difference.
Track everything using Instagram Insights and other tools, so you have a clear idea about what content your audience enjoys the most, the times when they are likely to interact and engage and then build a strategy around that. Create a loyal following and your brand will build itself (within reason)!